Presentation on theme: "1 Poverty Alleviation Policies and Ethnic Minority People in Vietnam The International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs) conference on Policy Perspectives."— Presentation transcript:
1 Poverty Alleviation Policies and Ethnic Minority People in Vietnam The International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs) conference on Policy Perspectives on Growth, Economic Structures and Poverty Reduction 7-9 th June, 2007 Tsinghua University, Beijing, China Ikemoto Yukio Institute of Oriental Culture The University of Tokyo
2 Purpose To discuss the efficiency of the capability approach of Amartya Sen. Efficiency is the shortest way to achieve the goal. Capability approach is concerned with how to define our goal; or how to define poverty. To see the moon, not the finger that points to the moon. "Life is like a finger, pointing to the Moon. If you look at the finger... you will miss all the heavenly glory." (Bruce Lee) Prof. Kregel mentioned We have to know what it is before we know what causes it.
3 H uman Development and Capability Association (HDCA), 2003- Ikemoto Yukio, Poverty, Ethnic Minority, and Culture: A Case in Vietnam, presented at the Conference on "Justice and Poverty: examining Sen's Capability Approach" (5-7 June 2001, Von H ü gel Institute, St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge), 2001. http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/ vhi/sen/papers/ikemoto.pdf
4 Background JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) A big project for policy reform for Vietnamese government. Poverty alleviation policy for ethnic minority people in the central highland. Are they really poor? Who makes them poor? What are the real problems of low income?
7 Official Poverty line Food poverty line Overall poverty line Poverty dramatically decreased.
8 Limits of income approach Regional variation from the north to the south Vietnam. Cultural diversification Practical problems to identify who are poor. Income approach is impractical.
9 Commodity approach (1)Poor households: More than 40% of households in the commune is poor. (2)Transportation: Poor communes locate more than 20 km away from a development center that has hospital, school, government office and other basic infrastructures. (3)Key infrastructure: Poor communes lack electricity, road, irrigation, clean water supply, school, hospital, and so on. (4)Social indicators: Illiteracy rate of poor communes exceeds 60%.
10 Arbitrariness of commodity approach Anything that can be considered as a criterion can be included. Unnecessary investment Waste of national budget Needs may be different according to their living condition, climate, culture, etc.
11 The Capability Approach Both income and goods may not be adequate to measure human well-being. Utility (happiness) is not appropriate because of adaptive preference. We should focus on what a person can do and can be, which is called functionings. Capability is a set of vectors of functionings.
12 List of functionings 1 (1)Elementary functionings a.Adequately nourished b.Free from avoidable disease c.Avoiding premature mortality d.Adequately educated e.Having essential non-food consumption goods f.Being well-sheltered
13 List of functionings 2 (2) Complex functionings g.Being happy h.Taking part in the life of the community I. Having self-respect (3) Trivial functionings j.Playing golf
14 Nussbaum s list Capability approach used for political purpose. Sen does not agree to present a list. He emphasized it is an approach and that it was not originally intended to operationalize.
15 Informational base: Data Sen (1985) discussed relationship between data and approach. Capability approach can utilize non-economic data, which are actually more abundant than market data.
16 So what? The capability approach intends to expand the informational base. Why do economists focus on income? Can income solve any problems? This is assumed in economics. Hypothesis of economics: Maximize utility which is determined by income.
18 Capability and economics Maximize capability set. A.K. Sen, Development as Freedom, 1999. Maximize weighted functionings ? What are the weights? What are the functionings to be chosen? Little change in formulation can make significant differences in development path.